<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/133892.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

More and more B2B companies are investing in commerce portals, where they can offer a personalised shopping experience by using digital aids and customer information. However, some companies receive orders by phone and email and close new deals with the help of salespeople in the field.

Are you one of them? In that case, it may be worth considering a B2B commerce portal to meet new customer requirements and take advantage of several sales opportunities.

The new buying process places new demands

In the traditional B2B buying process, you always had contact with a salesperson. As a customer, when you had a business need, you looked for a seller to be informed about the different options available on the market before making your purchase decision.

"Today, more than 50% of the buying process is already done before a customer contacts a seller" – Forrester.

The buyer has first obtained information digitally. When the buyer feels ready, he contacts a seller. This change in buying behaviour places greater demands on the product information that’s available digitally.

3 pitfalls of not having a B2B commerce portal

shutterstock_1441938647Today, more and more B2B buyers expect to shop from anywhere and anytime. So, it’s easy to miss an opportunity to sell if you don’t have your current product information available around the clock. The three most common pitfalls are:

  • You’re not available and miss the order when the customer wants to place one
  • The customer becomes apprehensive about ordering when the product availability, price and delivery time aren’t made available or updated
  • Geographical restrictions and specific opening hours prevent the customer from shopping from where and when they want, and this uncertainty reduces sales

Millennials make new demands

Without a B2B commerce portal, you’ll miss large parts of the buying process. This is because buyer’s behaviour has changed. Today, it’s primarily millennials – born between 1980–2001 – who have great purchasing power in B2B. Surveys show that millennials are here now, and will affect your business if you’re not prepared.

Here are a few trends identified from those surveys:

  • 73% of millennials are involved in purchasing products or services for their business
  • With a younger and more digital generation, the purchase price also becomes more digital, and purchasing decisions are more independent
  • Millennials first want to find out the information themselves and contact sellers much later during the purchase than previous generations
  • Millennials rely on independent experts, social media networks and industry colleagues. So, if you want to win their trust, invest in credibility, openness and empathy
  • Millennials wish to work with apps and portals and act independently
  • Millennials have grown up in a rapidly changing world with new technology constantly at hand. This has redrawn the map for what expectations and priorities we have for the world around us
  • Millennials expect a first-class experience with intuitive, digital self-service options

Some figures that give perspective on millennials’ views on the B2B market:

  • 76% of buyers feel significantly more comfortable as decision-makers compared to five years ago
  • 83% of buyers report that technology keeps them more informed about product choices than ever before
  • Almost 60% of buyers say they will probably switch brands if their current one does not offer a user-friendly mobile experience
  • 79% of buyers indicate that salespeople must act as ‘reliable advisors,’ a role that can only be realised through the use of intelligent, digital e-commerce technologies

Generational change can be challenging, but it also provides ways to find new business opportunities and increase business growth. If you want to maximise the business effects and secure your business’ future, you must listen to the needs of the younger generation. This applies to both your own business and that of your customers. Let the millennials guide you in the digital journey of change.

B2B commerce portals are needed but require a change

Back to the question: Is it worth investing in a B2B commerce portal to meet future buyers’ demands? The answer is – of course – yes!

But first and foremost, you must decide when it’s the right time for your business to begin your change journey. The next step will then be to prepare your organisation well in advance for the change journey. Skipping this important stage will mean your team won’t understand what the change means and how it will affect your organisation.

You can read more about how to prepare your team for change by clicking here.

Where you start and how you proceed depends on several factors, such as your business model, customer needs and existing digital infrastructure. We’re happy to help you find the right way to secure your business’ future with a B2B commerce portal.

Learn more about customer portals in our webinar series, which you can watch by clicking on the button below.Sign up here



Discuss this post

Recommended posts

The retail industry – like many others – has experienced rapid transformation over the last few years with solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) taking centre stage. IoT has many uses and benefits for retail, including the ability to offer more personalised shopping experiences, increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, boost sales and improve inventory management. It’s estimated that IoT in retail will grow to $94.44 billion through 2025. This increase emphasises how IoT adoption won’t only improve the customer experience directly, but the need for businesses to change the way they do business to meet the demands of today’s connected customer. Using IoT in retail doesn’t only improve the customer experience. It also drives the customer experience by giving businesses the opportunity to gain a better insight into their customer preferences and the opportunity to create a more personalised and interactive ‘shopping’ experience.
Reports estimate that 41% of manufacturing business revenue will be derived from e-commerce websites by 2025 – the digital shift deadline is fast approaching! And the new ‘digitally-oriented customer’ expects a frictionless customer experience that traditional offline operations can no longer satisfy. Despite worries over distribution networks and in-house capacity availability to achieve this without disruption, manufacturers looking to maximise sales and retain customer loyalty for many years to come must diversify by selling directly online. An integrated e-commerce platform can become the ultimate game changer here. It works alongside existing processes and allows businesses to benefit from more wide-reaching digital transformation and business evolution initiatives. I’ve identified four use cases here that show just how an e-commerce platform can benefit manufacturers:
In June 2022, the average conversion rate for eCommerce sites was 1.72%. That means less than two sales in 100 visits! While this is a massive challenge for the entire industry, there are ways to improve it.
What your customers don’t have is more time. So, it’s no wonder self-service on the web is increasing in popularity. With a B2B commerce portal, you can increase sales, offer new services – and at the same time – streamline and reduce costs of customer service.
Over 3000 people attended Shoptalk Europe – the world’s largest retail conference – in London. Industry professionals shared insights on areas such as retail’s transformation, ground-breaking marketing strategies and tactics, growth strategies for the next normal, meeting changing customer demands and using data.
right-arrow share search phone phone-filled menu filter envelope envelope-filled close checkmark caret-down arrow-up arrow-right arrow-left arrow-down